Live radio drama, "Terror on the Airwaves," to chill listeners at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts


Gory sound effects, sinister scripts and tales from the occult will keep listeners pinned to their seats Saturday, March 9 when Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts presents "Terror on the Airwaves." The live radio drama, a recreation of the medium's earliest horror shows, will be performed at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Quick Center's Wien Experimental Theatre. The show will also be broadcast live on WVOF, the university's radio station, and a post-show "Art to Heart" discussion with the cast will follow.

"Terror on the Airwaves" is based upon a trio of spine-tingling radio shows that aired during the 1930s and 40s. The earliest in that genre, "The Witch's Tale," was created by Alonzo Deen Cole and featured famed radio actress Miriam Wolff in the role of Nancy, the Witch of Salem. Director Daniel Smith of New Haven has chosen to recreate an episode called "Devil Hands." The second radio series, "Lights Out," created by Wyllis Cooper of Chicago's NBC radio and later produced by Arch Oboler, treated listeners to gory sound effects such as frying bacon (electrocution) and meat cleavers slicing into heads of cabbage (stabbings). Smith has chosen to recreate "The Dark" and "A Day at the Dentist's."

Finally, "The Oldest Man in the World" is taken from a series called "Quiet, Please," which Cooper created during the late 1940s. Actor Ernest Chappell narrated creepy, stream-of-consciousness stories that often ended in some kind of horror disaster.

Sound effects for "Terror on the Airwaves" will be provided by Ted Powell of Stratford. Cast members are: William Farrel of Fairfield; Kimberly Mikenis of New Haven; John Watson of New Haven; and Josiah Rowe of Cheshire.

The production, complete with vintage commercials and live sound effects, is the third and last in a series of radio dramas presented by the Quick Center.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 6, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 158